The French Revolution

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The French Revolution The French Revolution was one of the most violent and chaotic events in history. It took place in France from 1789 to 1795. The end result was a good one, with France’s government being transformed from an oppressive monarchy, to a nationalist state that stood for freedom, equality, and unalienable rights. The process, however, is the interesting part. Historians have debated many years over the causes of the French Revolution. Most agree that the main reason for the uprising was the Ancien Regime, which was the economic and social system in France. Under this system, the peasants of France had few rights, and the majority of the people lived in extreme poverty. Entire families survived on about three livres a day, or twelve dollars. This made peasants angry, especially because French aristocrats did not have to lift a finger and lived in the lap of luxury. Also, the price of bread was rising due to several years of bad harvests. The fact that France was also about one hundred fifty million livres in debt from participating in many wars, including the American Revolutionary War, did not do anything to make the people any happier. An additional reason to revolt was King Louis XVI. He tried to help the lower classes, but he was indecisive and would back down if faced with a strong opposition. Also, his political opponents distributed pamphlets telling falsehoods about him, which made people distrust the monarchy even more. The Enlightenment brought to the peasants the idea that they should be economically and socially equal with the aristocrats. Finally, the people of France hated Queen Marie Antoinette, whom they thought was wasteful with money and an Austrian spy. You can trace to beginning of the Revoluti... ... middle of paper ... shot himself. Both were dead. Robespierre was semiconscious, with a bullet wound to the face. His jaw was shattered in an apparent suicide attempt. He spent his final hours on the table of the Committee for Public Safety, being laughed at by his former friends. Robespierre was sent to the cell last occupied by Marie Antoinette. After he was prepared for execution, his cell mate pointed to a painting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and said “Well, at least we did that.” On July 27, 1794, the guillotine came down on the “Incorruptible,” and the last blood of the terror was shed. After the death of Robespierre, many people realized that they wanted to end the terror, and that killing Robespierre had been the only way to do it. The death of Robespierre was followed by 5 years of uncertainty, which was then wiped away by making Napoleon Bonaparte emperor.

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